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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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paign against the Polish Government through the Russian Information
Bureau, and also through the inspired press in America and Britain. The
article of the above-mentioned Pravda criticising the Polish communique,
was headed " The Polish Supporters of Hitler." The Soviet War New
in London declared that " the ministerial circles of General Sikorski,
and in particular the Polish Minister of National Defence, were declared
the accomplices of the cannibal Hitler." The same Russian newspaper
accused the Polish Government of entering " into contact and agreement
with the Hitlerites " and of dealing a " treacherous blow to the common
cause,"*
New York Times headed its cable, "Pravda states: The Poles have fallen
into the Hitlerite trap. Sikorski's regime accused of helping the Hitlerite
hangmen, repeating accusations of massacre." Discussion in the Allies*
Press switched from the question :cc Who has murdered the Polish officers ?'*
to the theme : " Was the Polish Government correct in appealing to the
International Red Cross for investigation ? " The Spectator on May 1
wrote : cc There is more to be said for leaving the dead to their sleep. No
amount of investigation will bring them to life." The New Statesman
went so far as to write on the same day: cc Sensible Poles must be asking
how their Government ever made so crazy a proposal. Why did they not
ask the Red Cross to investigate the assassination, reported on such terribly
convincing evidence, of many hundreds of thousands of civilian Poles by
the Nazis." Thus echoed the voice of fear at the thought that executioner
of those ccthousands of defenceless prisoners-of-war murdered in cold
blood" might not be in the enemy camp. And for a similar reason "the fellow-
nationals of these victims," wrote E. R. Russell,, in a letter to The Spectator)
" who wished to investigate the matter, are the subject of cruel gibes in
certain sections of the British Press; while other more serious papers
advocate a peace-at-any-price policy, neither of which seem to me to give
any expression to our much-vaunted sense of justice and fair play."
During the night of April 25, Molotov, the Peoples' Commissar for
Foreign Affairs, summoned the Polish Ambassador and informed him that
the U.S.S.R. had decided to break off relations with Poland, and handed
him the following Note :
cc The Soviet Government considers the recent behaviour of the Polish
Government with regard to the U.S.S.R., as entirely abnormal, and
violating all regulations and standards of relations between two Allied States.
The slanderous campaign, hostile to the Soviet Union, launched by the
German Fascists in connection with the murder of the Polish officers,
which they themselves committed in the Smolensk area on territory occupied
by German troops, was at once taken up by the Polish Government and is
being fanned in every way by the Polish official Press.
cc Far from offering a rebuff to the vile Fascist slander of the U.S.S.R.,
the Polish Government did not even find it necessary to address to the
Soviet Government any inquiry or request for an explanation on this subject.
" Having committed a monstrous crime against the Polish officers, the
Hitlerite authorities are now staging a farcical investigation, and for this
they have made use of certain Polish pro-Fascist elements whom they
themselves selected in occupied Poland, where everything is under Hitler's
heel, and where no honest Pole can openly have his say.
* April 29th and 30th, 1943.
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